April 23, 2007

Political blogging with an aversion to politics: my little corner of the blogosphere.

What I said about blogging to start things off at Dartmouth last week. (The other voice you hear is John Hinderaker of Power Line.)



ADDED: Just some bonus snippets. (The other voice here, talking about eyebrows, is Brendan Nyhan.)

38 comments:

XWL said...

Blogging as a "Room of one's own"?

Tribeca said...

Here's John Hinderaker's blog longing for the days when we used to kill gay people.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/003792.php

Nice blog there.

Ann Althouse said...

Tribeca: That isn't a fair translation of that post. Clearly, he's talking about what constitutional rights are. Not every law that we loathe is unconstitutional.

Tribeca said...

Ann,

And how would you interpret this? "What is not funny, however, is the destruction of the recognition of the laws of nature and nature's God on which our true rights depend."

He obviously likes the sodomy laws. He wants the sodomy laws on the books. And he wants them enforced.

Of course if you don't believe me, you could just ask him.

Ann Althouse said...

Tribeca: I think the key phrase is "true rights." He sees constitutional rights as grounded in a deep tradition that didn't include our modern, enlightened acceptance of homosexuality. I agree with your apparent feeling that he has written this in a way that doesn't acknowledge our modern sensitivity. To him, it seems, getting constitutional law interpretation right is overwhelmingly important and in this view the Court is aggrandizing itself. I understand why this feels offensive, but I don't think John is some monster who would like gay people executed.

Tribeca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tribeca said...

But I think he does want them imprisoned.

Like I said. Since you've now met him, why don't you ask him if

1) He would like to see Lawrence V. Texas overturned.

2) He would like to see Texas' sodomy laws stay on the books.

3) If he would like to see these laws enforced.

4) Does he think a law that called for the execution of gay people for committing the "crime" of sodomy would be constitutional?

My hunch is that he would say yes to #1, #2, and #4, but hedge on #3, thereby absolving himself of any responsibility when gay people are imprisoned for having sex.

I don't think I'm stretching here. I read powerline and they are a rather wing-nuttery blog. I have yet to read that post where they call sodomy laws "archaic", but still constitutional. I can understand that argument. Instead, I just saw foaming at the mouth because the sodomy laws can't be enforced.

He has a right to these viewpoints of course. They're quite common. I'm just pointing out that they're - um - a little wingnuttery.

Ann Althouse said...

Tribeca: I think you are essentially right in those points, except that I don't think he believes 3, which you seem to note and that he would not be happy about 4. But I don't know him all that well, and I concede that I find it hard to believe that people mean harm. He impressed me as a decent person who show no signs of inhumanity.

smokeandashes said...

So Tribeca - Your arguement is that you don't like John Hinderaker's position of constitutional rights and sodomy laws. And your point is what? That Ann shouldn't have participated in a debate at Dartmoth? That she shouldn't mention his name on her blog? People are entitled to their own erroneous positions.

Tribeca said...

40% of Alabamans voted to keep laws against inter-racial marriage on the books only a few years ago. I'm sure many of them are decent as well. Just not sure I'd invite them to speak at a conference.

Tribeca said...

Smokeanddashes - My point is that I feel it's my duty to point out some of John's wingnuttery opinions.

People can make their own conclusions about him.

After all - the right had no problem making up their opinion about John Edwards when he hired two opinionated bloggers.

Simon said...

I keep thinking, watching the first video, "surely at some point she has to breath in." Either you've mastered circular breathing, or you've got the most amazingly capacious lungs known to science. ;)

Simon said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Not every law that we loathe is unconstitutional."

Including FPBAA, in your view, Ann?

Tribeca said...

You can read more about John Hinderaker here:

http://mediamatters.org/columns/200704180002

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Ya know, I just always keep going and standing my ground...


Are you on one of those moving sidewalks?

Maxine Weiss said...

I would've talked about passion, and what it's like to have a passion, whether that be gardening, or skiing, or collecting. For Althouse, it's Blogging--that's her passion. Passion brings fulfillment, and we all need fulfillment in our lives. That's what blogging is for her. Not for me, but it seems for Althouse, this is her passion.

But I also wonder about the narcissism. The Vlogs of Althouse stirring her coffee. Why is that interesting?

Well, why did Gentilischi, and Van Gogh do self-portraits? And, nobody called them narcissistic.

The self-expression and self-portraiture.

Passion.

I think I'm giving Althouse a compliment. Very rare.

Paco Wové said...

"You can read more about John Hinderaker here:"

You do realize that the post you are referring to was not written by Hinderaker, but by Scott Johnson, right?

A quick search found one actual Hinderaker post on the topic here.

It's perfectly fine if you think they're all jackasses. But you should at least get the attributions right.

Too many jims said...

Paco Wové said...
"You can read more about John Hinderaker here:"

It's perfectly fine if you think they're all jackasses. But you should at least get the attributions right.


Tribeca can defend himself (or herslef as the case may be) but Tribeca said "You can read more about John Hinderaker here" not "You can read more by John Hinderaker here." Tribeca did not "attribute" the link to Hinderaker.

JimM47 said...

I think this comments thread is a nice meta-commentary on the blog as a whole. It starts out as being about something completely non-law-related but then in a random tangent Althouse's area of expertise pops up.

The Scott Johnson post that Tribeca links to just reinforces for me my own disappointment in the extent to which the proponents of Claremont-Institute-style Declarationism so often fail to even attempt to deal with the changes in Declaratory theory that occur between the founding and the 14th amendment which would complicate their direct translation of the 18th century understanding of natural law into constitutional rules. But that is neither here nor there.

AlphaLiberal said...

Here's a nice rundown of your pal Hindraker's dishonesty.

Zeb Quinn said...

If I wanted to get the factual lowdown about someone's writings, why would I ever want to read a litany of false accusations about that someone, foisted on the world by an obviously dishonest hack on an equally obvious partisan jihad? Why-o-why?

Especially when it is such a simple and convenient thing to access and read that someone in their own actual words and in context in which they were written ?

The Powerline blog, of which Hinderaker is an integral part, has been around for years and is an esteemed mainstay of the blogsphere. And the archives containing all of what Hinderaker has written is right there. The best evidence of what Hinderaker has written is what he has written. Not the point of view of somebody he has essentially and effectively busted.

More directly to the point, a constitutional view that sees the federal government as a government of limited powers, reserving to the states and the people, respectively, those powers not expressly granted to the feds, is not radical wingnuttery. It's not even an "insensitive" viewpoint. It's rock-solid blackletter constitutional law to a fairly well. And that's all that Hinderaker is saying about Lawrence v. Texas. Nope, he's NOT saying that he personally wants Texas's sodomy laws to be reinstated, and he's NOT saying that he personally wants anyone to be executed for sodomy. What he's saying is that in the constitutional republic in which he live it's up to Texas, its citizens, its legislature, and its courts, to decide what those laws and penalties are to be. If you don't like the laws in Texas work to change them there or move. But it's not up to the feds to tell Texas how to govern itself on these matters.

And if you can't discern the distinctions going on there then that's on you.

reader_iam said...

How is Hinderaker a "your pal"? (The "a" is not a typo.)

Jeez, Alpha, is everyone you ever attended a conference,or whatever, automatically a pal of yours?

"Your pal" is a cheap rhetorical trick so that you can impute whatever you dislike or disrespect about one person to another person who's not responsible for the former's positions.

Figures you'd use it.

Galvanized said...

I so enjoyed this. Sure this was a lively conference. Wish the entire thing were taped somewhere. I totally identified with EVERYthing you said in the first vid about blogging! It is a process of both self expression AND self-discovery. It's nice to see that many bloggers, like me, suffer from OBD (obsessive blogging disorder). And I think that the gentleman is right -- it is for more obsessive personalities. This, as in:

Wife: (Abruptly rising from bed in the wee hours)

Hubby: (Awakening) Honey, where are you going?

Wife: Shhhh, just need to ping.

Hubby: Oh...wait..whaaaat?

Wife: (Scurrying off, embarrassed)

;) It has replaced eating for me, though.

Freder Frederson said...

And that's all that Hinderaker is saying about Lawrence v. Texas. Nope, he's NOT saying that he personally wants Texas's sodomy laws to be reinstated, and he's NOT saying that he personally wants anyone to be executed for sodomy.

Don't be obtuse. Hinderaker in the cited post is using Lawrence to state his own moral belief that homosexuality and homosexual sodomy is a crime against nature (he is silent on heterosexual sodomy), indeed against the "laws of nature and Nature's God". He sees it as a universal evil that transcends even societal mores. He is echoing Cedarford.

I don't know why Ann is defending him. Apparently she never reads Powerline since she claims "[h]e impressed me as a decent person who show no signs of inhumanity." Anybody who regularly reads Powerline would be quickly disabused of that notion as he has consistently shown himself to be a bloodthirsty racist and homophobe who openly advocates wholesale slaughter of Muslims.

Then of course, Ann is enamored of Glenn Reynolds, another advocate of genocide.

Freder Frederson said...

I think this interview with Ann is much more revealing.

reader_iam said...

Damn, Freder, you just made me nostalgic for Rich Little.

The insult to Ann is not so much that she's being parodied, but that it's so badly done.

Fen said...

Freder: Anybody who regularly reads Powerline would be quickly disabused of that notion as he has consistently shown himself to be a bloodthirsty racist and homophobe who openly advocates wholesale slaughter of Muslims.

What a fricken boldfaced lie. Freder, you just lost any respect I had left for you. I read Powerline daily, and there is nothing bloodthirsty or racist or homophobic about it. Nor do they advocate the wholesale slaughter of Muslims. You're just parroting lies to discredit someone above your weight class. What a shameless weasel you are.

Ann Althouse said...

"You're just parroting lies to discredit someone above your weight class. What a shameless weasel you are."

In case you're looking for more insight into the way I think, reading that made me picture two things:

1. A weasel experiencing shame.

2. A weaselly parrot.

reader_iam said...

Which, in turn, makes me think of:

1. The Lion King
2. Break your parrot's bad habits!

Freder Frederson said...

What a fricken boldfaced lie. Freder, you just lost any respect I had left for you. I read Powerline daily, and there is nothing bloodthirsty or racist or homophobic about it. Nor do they advocate the wholesale slaughter of Muslims.

Their wholesale onslaught against Keith Ellison, who they judged to be unfit for elective office simply because he was a Muslim, was nothing but blatant racism. The homophobia has already been cited. As for the wholesale slaughter of Muslims, they are most vocal in their view that no Muslims anywhere can be trusted and that we should use draconian methods to punish and respond to acts of terror, including collective punishment widening the war against terror

tjl said...

"Ann is enamored of Glenn Reynolds, another advocate of genocide."

Is there a marginally rational explanation for this whopper, Freder?

Freder Frederson said...

Is there a marginally rational explanation for this whopper, Freder?

I don't know how many times I have to post this before it sinks in. The good professor thinks that genocide is sometimes a necessary and rational evil. For those of you who don't want to link and face the ugly truth here is the quote:

"Civilized societies have found it harder, though, to beat the barbarians without killing all, or nearly all, of them. Were it really to become all-out war of the sort that Osama and his ilk want, the likely result would be genocide -- unavoidable, and provoked, perhaps, but genocide nonetheless, akin to what Rome did to Carthage, or to what Americans did to American Indians. That's what happens when two societies can't live together, and the weaker one won't stop fighting -- especially when the weaker one targets the civilians and children of the stronger."

Notice how he blames the American Indian for being in the way of "American Civilization" and apparently the Carthaginians were "barbarians" while the Romans were "civilized" (I guess the more "civilized" race is the one that is better at mass slaughter).

Der Hahn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Der Hahn said...

I'll post the entire paragraph that Freder truncated, and urge everyone to follow the link.

Civilized societies have found it harder, though, to beat the barbarians without killing all, or nearly all, of them. Were it really to become all-out war of the sort that Osama and his ilk want, the likely result would be genocide -- unavoidable, and provoked, perhaps, but genocide nonetheless, akin to what Rome did to Carthage, or to what Americans did to American Indians. That's what happens when two societies can't live together, and the weaker one won't stop fighting -- especially when the weaker one targets the civilians and children of the stronger. This is why I think it's important to pursue a vigorous military strategy now. Because if we don't, the military strategy we'll have to follow in five or ten years will be light-years beyond "vigorous."

It's pretty clear from the last line that Glenn is not advocating genocide but stating that not responding effectively to terrorist actions now may induce us to employ an unfortunate and disproportionate response in the future.

Freder Frederson said...

It's pretty clear from the last line that Glenn is not advocating genocide but stating that not responding effectively to terrorist actions now may induce us to employ an unfortunate and disproportionate response in the future.

But if it fails, he is saying genocide may be necessary, "unavoidable, and provoked, perhaps", but necessary. His arguing for less drastic and more humane measures now doesn't mitigate the fact that he recognizes that more extreme measures may be necessary in the future any more than Hitler's original plans to ship Germany's Jews to Madagascar excuse his later actions.

Freder Frederson said...

Glenn is not advocating genocide but stating that not responding effectively to terrorist actions now may induce us to employ an unfortunate and disproportionate response in the future.

Glenn is not talking about employing "an unfortunate and disproportionate response in the future" if current policies fail, he is talking about genocide.

Galvanized said...

See? As evidenced above, in blogging commentary, any post can indeed evolve into political debate. LOL I enjoy sifting through it, though. ;)

Freder Frederson said...

Powerline's attack on Keith Ellison was based on Ellison's past association with Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam. Ellison, to appear respectably electable, distanced himself from the Nation of Islam. However, Ellison never repudiated Farrakhan or Farrakhan's toxic views of Jews and gays. This was not a case of dissing Ellison "solely because he was a Muslim."

I guess if you are a fan of Powerline, this is the logical conclusion.

Obviously Fen has run out of arguments.